Is America in the process of waking up—the sleeping dragon is waking up—or are we in a death spiral? Are we at the moment in The Avatar and the Voyage to Pandora when Jake Sully didn’t know which world was real, the Sky People or the Navi, Earth or Pandora? This was his dark night of the soul, the no man’s land. This is that moment when you wake in the morning and don’t know if the dream you were just having is real or the waking state you are entering is real. Who am I? There is this cocoon stage whether you don’t know if you are a worm or a butterfly. Is America at the point, that place? It seems to me that we are.
The double-bind, which is where we are now, is when the One is divided into two separate views of reality, both of which have their own logic and rationality. We the people are getting whiplash trying to watch both sides hit that ball back and forth like an endless tennis match when both players are perfectly matched.
When caught in this double-bind there is only one way out: either a new America is created out of the weariness of the endless tennis match, a new game; of the two tennis players jump the net and kill each other like gladiators in the Roman Coliseum.
I look to the new generation coming to power to end this double-binding Red/Blue gridlock of the last 50 years—wow, what a long tennis match—to move on by just bypassing. the dysfunction. The Baby Boomers Boom Box is worn out. The ME Generation is retiring, and the new generation will be the US Generation.
From the Zen view (any non-dual tradition), all conflict is one arm wrestling the other arm. All conflict ends with the Seeing of the One that is Two.
This 50 years civil war of values, Left pitted against the Right hand, the Right against the Left, will end with the Seeing of the One America. This is Vision. America is on a Vision Quest right now, but it seems like the cocoon state were we are no longer the worm but not yet the butterfly. This in mystic traditions is the Dark Night of the Soul. You don’t know if the mail is out-going or in-coming.
When you cannot tell if the mail is incoming or out-going, great anxiety is created because we don’t know what’s real, what’s true, since both hands, left and right are equally valid, yet opposite. We try one, we try the other, and we oscillate between the two like a stuck record. The only way out of a tape-loop is toe destroy everything, or a creative leap to a new Idea or whole that has no existed before.
Either way is death. The death of total war or destruction, or the death of leaping into the unknown to give birth to a new idea, invention, or way of being in the world that never existed before. That is Zen.
That is the leap of Fatih that has no safety net. Both steps, either to. total violence or total creativity are only possible when there is nothing to lose, no strategy left to play, no more cards in your deck.
AS you know I’m optimistic, but only because I know there is a basic goodness of Being, a basic sanity to the universe that is always moving towards greater unity. But life is a dynamic unity, one that is always dying and being born not in a linear way, like a process moving along a ruler of time, but like a fountain that is both dying, disintegrating and. being born at the same time.
There is both the fountain of being that is sane, and there is the river of time and history flowing out of the fountain that looks either sane or insane according to your viewpoint. Change your viewpoint and you change your perception and the idea/world you have believed to be fixed.
All is impermanent, said the Buddha and Quantum. Every moment is Being that is dying, the moment dying, and birthing, the moment being born out of the death of the moment, simultaneously, simultaneously. The moment is ambiguous, but we need a fix.
But our mind with its logic and thought cannot see this impermanence because the viewpoint of the mind is from a fixed viewpoint of Me.
The Moment of Zen is when that fixed viewpoint is dropped and one doesn’t perceive, but one becomes the fountain of Being. This changes everything, for now, though one perceives the world in time, the reference changes from something fixed in the external world to the fountain sensed within. Now you can swim in the river of time without drowning because you can go with the river instead of trying to fix it so you won’t down.
How do we fix the ambiguity that cannot be fixed? The ambiguity is that life is death and life at the same time, yet life is different than death. The One is Two, both separate and one at the same time. The ambiguity by itself is terrifying because we know it as psychosis, the dissolution of Me as something fixed. This is the Great Doubt that Zen induces, that noman’s land between the trenches where the real is unreal and the unreal is real. The Apocalypse. The madness of Catch 22.
Only a mad act, an act of faith can find that fixed still point in the unfixed. This is the creative act where you create a new order out of chaos, a new life out of death: the fabled Phoenix Bird that rises our of its own ashes.
“The only hope, or else despair
Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre—
To be redeemed from fire by fire.” (TS Eliot)